One of the first things to state is that Slowly Sideways is all about rally cars. The group motto could easily be “The Car’s the Star” and it is particularly concerned with the rally cars of historical interest and importance.
The reason that Slowly Sideways was started in the first place was to find a way of using cars that would otherwise have no other opportunity to perform in public. Indeed, the situation within the UK is such that historic rally cars that can be used in competition may not possess either four-wheel drive or forced induction. Also many of the rally cars built to Group 2 and 4 regulations in the 1970s have features that were acceptable then but that are not now considered appropriate for competition use, for example light alloy roll cages. What should the discerning owner of a rally car do? Should they strip out the “obsolete” bits and replace them with modern requirements losing its authenticity? Or should it be retired and placed in a museum?
The group naturally centres its attentions on Group B era from 1983 to 1986 and the cars that were summarily banned from international competition from 1987 onward. The fascinating thing about that period is the sheer number of unique cars that were created utilising a variety of innovative engineering solutions. It was a period when the engineers were given their head and the Slowly Sideways cars preserve the memory of that special time when spectator numbers on rallies soared into the millions. However, the group also welcomes cars from before 1983 in the heyday of Groups 2 and 4 – and even further back, where the cars in question have a place in history and the owners do not want to use them in a full competition environment. It also extends a welcome to cars from Group A period or subsequently, as well as more recently World Rally Cars provided that they are genuine works or semi-works cars that were rallied in the period.
Slowly Sideways UK aims to stimulate interest in preserving and restoring old rally cars, by giving the owners of such cars an opportunity to drive them in a safe and controlled environment whilst at the same time allowing the general public to see, hear and appreciate the sounds and spectacle that these older rally cars can provide.